Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scan Or Pat Down?

Can someone please answer this question for me? What is the big deal about the recent security measures taken by TSA in the nation's airports?

I understand that some people don't want to submit themselves to a pat-down of their private parts. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd want that either. For us friskophobes, there's always the option of undergoing the full body scan. But of course, others object to that procedure because it allows a total stranger to see an electronic version of your nakedness. For scanophobes, there's always the option of the pat-down.

The problem occurs when a passenger objects vehemently to both procedures. Then you're really stuck. I guess your best bet would be to submit to the body scan but use Flying Pasties. Or take Amtrak.

I will say this about the controversy: It has spawned a very funny slew of one-liners. New media guru Jeff Jarvis has captured several of them on his Twitter feed:

  • And I feel a helluva lot more sorry for the poor TSA guy whose job it now is to feel ballsacks than I do for any of us.
  • TSA needs to think like a corporation: Hire Hooters girls and Chippendales, and charge a fee to get groped. It's all about the upsell.
  • I fully plan on refusing the scan and then making it sound like I'm REALLY enjoying the pat down
  • Relationships are like the TSA - you give up your freedom & you're guaranteed to get your genitals touched.

And there was this from a California software engineer who wanted to proceed unmolested through security:
If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested!
Is that what you'd call that part of your body? That man has "issues."


  1. actually "junk" is a pretty popular slang. i'll admit i've used it a time or two as well.

    I'm still iffy on the privacy of it all. I don't trust "the man behind the curtain" with images, no mater how un-detailed they are, of me or my child virtually exposed.

    I could care less if they pat me down.. my son on the other hand is a different story. they say they have a 'modified" pat down for those under 12.. but i doubt it's any less intrusive or concerning.

  2. I'm with Jarvis--give me the right agent and I'll fork over an extra $20 for an extra five minutes.

  3. TSA wants you to use the machine, that's why they're making the pat downs, undesireable.

  4. This is a test, only a test to see how much of a stink citizenry will put up. When the little lemmings grow to accept this invasion into their freedom, the "security" will creep further into bus stations, subways and train stations. Once again, when the lemmings accept this further push and the complaining dies down, it will most likely be implemented when traveling state to state.

  5. Seriously, for a moment: there are several threads at this site vigorously debating and exploring the permutations of this issue. Check 'em out:

  6. Terry:

    I don't much trust the government, but who do you trust more, the government or the guy sitting next to you who may have a bomb in his underwear?

  7. I bet if there were Chippendale's for the ladies and Hooter's girls for the guys doing the pat downs nobody would be complaining : )

  8. I'm wondering "so what's really going on with these patdowns?" Clearly 5-year-olds are not potential terrorists, and neither are dowagers and men with urostomy bags. Are they demonstrating to potential terrorists that there will be random patdowns, so you better not bring a bomb on board? If so, I'd assume that a multitude of bomb-laden terrorists will try to buck the odds.
    Today I read that certain styles of address will get you a pat down. Is that profiling? Surely, every Muslim with flowing robes and a face cover is going to be searched -- I hope so! Will they sue because they were profiled? Will a judge issue a stop order on all future pat downs.